HOMELESSNESS STORY TELLING // POLICY IDEATION
Whenever there is a crisis, it is usually the most vulnerable who are hit the hardest. Those who are homeless epitomise this more than anyone. Whilst the speed with which the homeless were provided shelter when the UK went into lockdown in March 2020 shows that we can imagine new possibilities and action new initiatives to significantly help the vulnerable, how can we ensure that the government's target to end rough sleeping by 2025 is met? During this event, we considered how we can take the learnings from the coronavirus crisis and use these as cornerstones to eradicate homelessness in a post-covid world.
Attendees worked together to develop ideas that London Borough of Camden could use when launching their homelessness donation appeal, brainstormed policy ideas to combat homelessness and listened to a truly moving and heartfelt account of what it is like to be homeless.
We were joined by:
Lisa-Marie Bowles, Homelessness Programme Manager at the London Borough of Camden, who co-wrote Camden’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy
Shane Cole, founder of the charity Feed Up Warm Up, who talked about some of his personal experiences and the incredible work he and his charity do supporting people who are homeless
Isabel Nuesse, Engagement and Content Lead at The Wellbeing Economy Alliance, who spoke about how, in the post-Covid world, we need to move from an economic system that treats housing as a commodity and homelessness as a personal failing to a wellbeing economy where every person is sufficiently provided for
Our participants were able to brainstorm in groups and develop some fantastic ideas that LB of Camden could use to improve the lives of homeless people during lockdown and beyond, and that The Wellbeing Economy Alliance could use to influence future national policy.
Through donations, we were also able to raise £90 to help Feed Up Warm Up with the amazing work they do.
Our attendees also really valued hearing someone with a lived experience of homeless share their story.
Action is Better
Things we can do immediately:
The most important thing we can do the next time we see someone on the street is to show compassion - a simple smile and hello makes a huge difference
We must keep talking about homelessness - recent times have shown that issues can be tackled head-on when there is public engagement and focus
Further action ideas:
Donate and/or sign-up to volunteer with Sleep Pods - an emergency aid kit designed for rough sleepers in severe weather conditions. Upcoming builds will take place in Kent, Birmingham, London and Bristol
Get involved with a homlessness charity, such as Crisis
The Simple Way Everyone Can Help the Homeless - TEDx Talk
Tackling Rough Sleeping: Why Does It Take A Pandemic? - Reasons to be Cheerful Podcast